Over the weekend Labour repeated their promise to extend the Freedom of Information Act if they win the next election.
Sadiq Khan, the shadow justice secretary, told the Sunday Times:
“More and more of our public services are being delivered by private companies and charities, out of reach of freedom of information. We must demand the same openness from them as we expect from government. It’s not on to let these organisations hide behind a veil of secrecy.”
It’s a repeat, almost literally, of his promise from July that if the party wins the 2015 general election they would extend the Act to the private contractors.
“More and more of public services – such as prisons, the health service and schools – are being given by this government to be run by the private sector. There are legitimate concerns about some of their practices and ways of working but private companies delivering public services are beyond the disinfecting sunlight of freedom of information. This is wrong, and Labour is committed to extend the Freedom of Information Act to include the private sector. This would cover the use of taxpayers’ money to pay private companies and the voluntary sector that deliver public services.
It comes as Labour are putting a significant push on the issue of extending FOI with several mentions and appearances in the news recently, these include:
- Grahame Morris’ 10 minute rule bill to extend FOI to private NHS contractors.
- A segment on the BBC’s Daily Politics show.
- A question from Jamie Reed in the House of Commons.
- An Early Day Motion.